The fear of rational business folk about the federal greenhouse policy vacuum is that ratbag state policies will fill it. It’s happened – California is suing six top car manufacturers for greenhouse damage.

California’s Attorney General Bill Lockyer is seeking “tens of hundreds of millions of dollars” from Ford, GM, Toyota, DaimlerChrysler, Honda and Nissan. Reports CNN:

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for past and ongoing contributions to global warming and asks that the companies be held liable for future monetary damages to California.

It noted that California is spending millions to deal with reduced snowpack, beach erosion, ozone pollution and the impact on endangered animals and fish.

“The injuries have caused the people to suffer billions of dollars in damages, including millions of dollars of funds expended to determine the extent, location and nature of future harm and to prepare for and mitigate those harms, and billions of dollars of current harm to the value of flood control infrastructure and natural resources,” it said.

The car makers’ trade group called the case a “nuisance suit”, saying it was similar to a case brought against utilities that was dismissed by a New York Federal Court.

Nuisance or something worse, it shows the danger of the Federal vacuum – both in the US and here. It also shows how wide-spread the greenhouse zeal is becoming outside the Bush administration when the Hollywood state becomes so vociferous. No wonder Rupert’s changed his greenhouse tune – he’s always wanted to fit in.

Peter Fray

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